Yes we have options!
Over the past few weeks we have been in discussions with several other volume builders. Some have been helpful, others not so.
We went to a meeting with the salesman and designer from Huxl3y homes yesterday. They have quite a few floorplans that are split level that suit our needs and budget. However, the designer on looking at the block, council restrictions and our needs, thinks doing a custom design should be the way to go. I've always been wary of this option. However after the last few weeks, I am a lot more open to it.
It see it this way now - we get a house designed for our block, for our needs, on a volume builders budget. Sounds better already! They showed us the price per sq meter charge sheet, so we can build a home similar in size to the previous one, but will have rooms that we dictate (ie goodbye formal dining - don't need it).
The designer also talked about block orientation, something that wasn't even looked at prior (to be fair to W, they were just trying to get a house on the block!).
Looks like we might have a home that is quite different to the 'standard' volume builders home. By that I mean split levels, some living areas substanially forward of the garage etc. The blue shows roughly the old footprint of the house on the land, and the red is what was discussed yesterday. Using the block better :).
Lets hope it works out! I'm getting a little bit excited again!